One of the most common responses when I tell people the most important things they can do to prevent cancer, based on the scientific evidence, is that the things seem so simple or obvious.
Maintain a healthy weight. Be physically active. Use sunscreen and sun protective clothing when you can’t choose to be in the shade. Practice safe sex to avoid sexually transmitted infections. Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose to spend time in places free of secondhand smoke. Quit smoking if you smoke.
They do sound like health tips. They aren’t sexy or “hot” or “new” like it would be to talk about plastics, pesticides, lotions and the like. But here’s the thing… while we still have plenty of work to do to explore the role those factors might play in cancer, we KNOW that the things above matter. We know that if we implemented those things and a few others, we could prevent at least HALF of all cancers. Continue reading
Depending upon whether men have a lot or little of the mineral selenium in their bodies, taking large doses of either selenium or vitamin E can almost double the risk of an aggressive form of prostate cancer, suggests a new study. Vitamin E supplements increase all prostate cancer risk among men with low levels; selenium supplements increase risk among those with high levels.
The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Its findings, somewhat unexpected, adds to a complex body of research on supplements and cancer risk.
AICR currently recommends not relying on supplements to prevent cancer; instead, taking in your nutrients, phytochemicals and other cancer-fighting compounds from food.
The study continues the findings from a large trial that was stopped back in 2008. Called the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), the study was investigating whether selenium and/or vitamin E could lower prostate cancer risk. Both are essential for good health and have antioxidant activity. Continue reading
Eating mostly fruits, vegetables and other plant foods, staying a healthy weight and exercising are among AICR’s recommendations shown to reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Now a new study suggests that healthy people who follow at least five of AICR’s Recommendations have a lower risk of dying from cancer by more than half compared to those who don’t follow any. And the lower risk was seen with meeting just one recommendation, getting lower for each additional recommendation followed.
The study was published in the February issue of Cancer Causes & Control.
“We found that meeting the AICR recommendations for body weight, diet, and physical activity is associated with lower cancer mortality,” says lead author Theresa Hastert, an epidemiologist at University of Michigan School of Public Health who conducted the study while at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington. “Although the benefits are greatest for people who meet the most recommendations, even meeting one or two can be protective.” Continue reading